Being Bridget Jones











{March 29, 2010}   Why Bridget Jones?

“And that was it. Right there. That was the moment. I suddenly realised that unless something changed soon I was going to live a life where my major relationship was with a bottle of wine… and I’d finally die, fat and alone, and be found three weeks later half-eaten by Alsatians. Or I was about to turn into Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction.”  – Bridget Jones Diary

For those of you familiar with Bridget Jones Diary, you will understand the quote above. For those of you not, let me enlighten you. Bridget, a smart and funny woman living in England, has just realized that her life is not what she wants it to be. She decides that she is going to buck up, fix those things she doesn’t like about herself and have lots of sex with Hugh Grant and Colin Firth while doing it. Well, it turns out that this is my Bridget Jones moment, although I am pretty sure that my dreams of Colin and Hugh will remain as such. I have much more self esteem than Bridget, and I don’t drink much or smoke at all. But, this past year has been a rough one, and I finally realized that there are some changes I would really like to make. Since August of 2009, I have been unemployed despite graduating with honors from law school and passing the Maryland bar, living a completely sedentary existence and my love life is completely stalled. And i’m going to do something about it.

This blog won’t focus much on my employment situation, as there are plenty of other blogs for that. This blog will focus mostly on my goal is get healthy and take control in my desire for some sort of lovelife.

First, why the sudden concern with going on dates? I have never been a big dater, and although I love men I have never been in a long relationship. And I don’t mind it that way. I was raised to be very independent, and marriage and a white picket fence is not really on my list of immediate goals. Definitely, not until I am 30.  But, I think at some level everyone wants that person who you can cuddle with and fly kites with at the monuments and who doesn’t run when you have food poisoning. For the first time in almost 20 years, I am living fully and completely in the real world and not in the educational system. Of course, my parents instilled “real world” skills in me long ago, and I have been aware of the realities of paying bills, maintaining credit, and caring for kids (aka my cats) since I was young. But, one thing you can’t be prepared for when you leave school is the sudden isolation from your peers. Of course, I am plenty social…when I want to be. I have my roommate, and the group of friends that I go out with on a regular basis.  It is different than when you are in school though. In school you are forced to interact with a new group of people on a regular basis – through classes, clubs, and social events hosted by the school and your friends. I guess I always assumed that I would meet someone to date under these conditions. I would know that they have qualities I am looking for, and I could interact with them in non-forced situations.

Clearly, this didn’t happen. I made it through law school and college without finding that one person who makes my cute little heart go a pitter patter. Unemployment hasn’t made the situation any better. It is pretty hard to meet new people when you hang out on with your cats for most of the day. In fact, the last person I had any romantic interaction with was the bartender at the bar where my roommate and I go for drinks occasionally. So, part of this blog will be dedicated to my forays into actual dating, via blind dates, online dating, and sheer luck. But, not craigslist. A girl has to have standards.

The second part of this blog will focus on my desire to get healthy. Notice, I don’t say skinny. For those of you who have met me, I am not Kate Moss. I have been overweight since I was about 10, when the doctor said he wasn’t concerned with my weight because I was about to hit my growth spurt. My growth spurt turned out to be about an inch! Thanks, doc! Anyway, my weight has never been a huge issue for me. Of course, it is part of who I am and I get irritated when I can’t get the cuter dress, or I have to shop at Lane Bryant. But, because I have wonderful friends and family, it has never been a characteristic that defined me. I have been a size 20 since I was 17, and I have not gained or lost more than 10 pounds since that time. However, at least during college and law school, I made some attempt to be active. I would walk around campus, walk to the shuttle, take the stairs, carry heavy books, and even occasionally take a yoga class. Once I finished the bar and the reality of my unemployment sank in, I started living an almost exclusively sedentary lifestyle. I haven’t been inside a gym in a year. I take the bus or metro everywhere. I spend hours a day sitting on the bed, couch or desk chair. And the bags of Quiznos and Burger King have become all too common in my trash. Then my friend Anne asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. I know she and all my other friends love me the way I am, but I decided it would be nice to walk down the aisle of her wedding with a new frame, 30 to 40 pounds lighter and healthier. Her wedding is next April, so that is my current goal which this blog will discuss. Furthermore, I was inspired my roommate who suggested that we sign up for the Army 10 mile run in October. Coming from a girl who used to cry when we ran the mile in middle school, this is a revolution.

So welcome! I might just be venting, but maybe you will see something of yourself in here. Will there be days when I break dates because I would rather sit on my ass and eat Burger King? Yep. But, hopefully this blog will be a chart of success over the next year….

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Meags says:

the mile… o the shameful memories… i ran track and it still made me cry



dirgo says:

Always remember you’ve got lots of support and you can do anything you put your mind to – already having done SO much. You’re beautiful on the inside and no matter what changes on the outside – stay true to your self and as beautiful as you are inside. I believe in you.



Angela says:

Funny and very cool, Ashley. Love your writing and praise your goal of getting healthy. Good luck my dear!



Alli says:

Ashley,
(1) awesome
(2) congratulations, you posted the first blog I read from start to finish!
(3) I plan to follow your blog. Let me know if you need a wing woman in the next 2 months!



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